Sport

State of Origin looms over Anzac results

The Kiwis have assembled one of its strongest sides in recent history to face Australia at Eden Park tomorrow.
The Kiwis have assembled one of its strongest sides in recent history to face Australia at Eden Park tomorrow. Getty Images Sport - Chris Brunskill

WHEN looking for answers to why New Zealand has failed to win an Anzac test in the last 14 years, it's hard to ignore the words state and origin.

The Kiwis might have assembled one of its strongest sides in recent history to face Australia at Eden Park tomorrow night, but just two training runs together give them little time to sort out combinations and tactics.

The timeframe is the same for the Kangaroos, but they have the luxury of slotting in 10 Queensland State of Origin players, including six of the seven in the backline.

On top of that, the spine is principally made up of Melbourne Storm players with Cameron Smith at hooker, Cooper Cronk at halfback and Billy Slater at fullback.

The fourth is Johnathan Thurston, who will suit up at five-eighth in place of retired playmaker Darren Lockyer, and he's played 22 tests and 21 Origin matches for Queensland.

By comparison, the Kiwis might have an exciting quartet in the key positions, but two of them, Josh Hoffman (fullback) and Shaun Johnson (halfback), will be making their international debuts.

Slater admitted the Aussies had an advantage through consistency of players, but said that didn't mean they only had to turn up to take home the trophy.

"We do have some good combinations, and we've played a bit of football together over the past few years," Slater said.

"But it's about our attitude and getting out there and starting really well. We're hoping to start tough and earn the right to use those combinations and throw the ball around."

The Kiwis have picked a side they hope can contain that, with plenty of emphasis on defence.

Assistant coach Tony Iro said the players had also met twice in Sydney in recent weeks to discuss how they could combat the understanding the Australian players have with each other.

"We are never going to replicate the advantage the Australians have in that area," Iro said. "Their three main players play together at club level as well. In terms of that, we just have to do our best and make sure we do as much as we can before the week in camp.

"We had a couple of meetings with our senior group in Sydney about how we want to play the game. They have taken a bit more ownership in terms of leading the team around the park and how they want to play football.

"There are a few little unknowns for us that the Australians probably don't have to encounter, but we are confident that Benji (Marshall) and the senior boys can execute a game plan that they have basically come up with themselves."

Topics:  rugby league, state of origin



Kick the Kilos Challenge off and running for week two

Tanya Hehir and the Gympie Hash House Harriers are just one of the groups getting active around town, running as a group every Monday night.

WE'RE NOW two weeks into the 12-week Kick the Kilos challenge.

Get 'Naked' in Pomona as Eleanor McEvoy tours

Irish singer songwriter Eleanour McEvoy.

Irish singer songwriter to perform in Pomona

Grants to support more business growth

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien says applications are now open for "incubator” grants from the government, designed to help stimulate business growth.

Grants are currently available to stimulate business growth.

Local Partners

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state